Satellites x Socialists

Published by Skydive Art Space in partnership with Temporary Art Review Sponsored by a grant from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation Coming Soon!

Satellites and Socialists: On the Fringe of the Houston Arts
Published by Skydive Art Space in partnership with Temporary Art Review
Sponsored by a grant from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation

Houston, Texas.  A city I have been lucky to visit and engage with in recent years since the first conception of WOAH (West Oaks Art House) was born in early November 2011.  As a first-time traveller, worldwide urban-dweller and self-professed city-junkie, Houston was one of those destinations where I really didn’t know what to expect, nor did I anticipate the incredibly diverse and enigmatic artist-driven energy existing within this vast metropolis.

There are certain places where you truly do feel a collective creative consciousness brewing, where you actually see experimentation happening outside of prevalent critical discourse; ecologies where artists, activists, institutions, and cutting-edge nonprofits are evolving together to create something unparalleled outside of white walls; where possibilities are being built and new spaces and trajectories are being excavated in the process.  Art and a sense of community can be mistaken for those awkward moments when you continually run into the same semi-familiar sea of art goers at the so-and-so weekly choice art happening, usually with a crowd contingent and distinct to the venue itself: institution, gallery, or alterna-space.  That’s not to say I myself don’t partially enjoy attending and maintaining aloof anonymity at each of these art happenings.  But, my point is, in Houston, there is a cross-pollination bridging artist, museum curator, commercial gallery owner, critic, collector, nonprofit space, newcomer, and audience into one all-inclusive art community.  As an out-of-towner, feelings of inferiority initially plagued my stag attendance to varied art events, only to be quickly eradicated by the instantaneous feeling of being a key player in this creative exchange and dialogue.  I was welcomed with the feeling of being integral to the experimentation and innovation taking place within and beyond this city’s kunsthalle infrastructure –– brimming with artists, renowned institutions, and community-centric projects–– sheerly because I, too, was an artist with an idea in Houston.

With that said, I continue to be humbled to be included in the upcoming book project, Satellites and Socialists: On the Fringe of the Houston Arts, published in partnership with Temporary Art Review and edited by Founder of landmark Houston artist-run venue, Skydive Art Space, Sasha Dela.  Through an anthology of essays, interviews, mission statements, and floorplans, the book focuses on Houston as a city enabling and sustaining a variety of creative endeavors, chronicling a group of local arts organizations, that through an economy of means taking unconventional forms, envision a more perfect connection to and relationship with place.1

Included in the book: Antena Books / John Pluecker / Jen Hofer, Aurora Picture Show / Andrea Grover, Art House Rules / Nancy Zastudil, Box 13, Galveston Artist Residency / Eric Schnell, Hear Our Houston / Carrie Schneider, Hello Lucky / Teresa O’Conner, The Kenmore / Emily Sloan, Mainstreaming the Militants / Raj Mankad, Many Mini Residency / Sarrita Hunn / Ryan Thayer, The Mitchell Center for the Arts / Karen Farber, Notsuoh / Dean Liscum, Phoenix Commotion / Robert Boyd, Project Row Houses / Rick Lowe, Rice Gallery / Josh Fischer, Roadsign USA / June Woest, Settlement Goods / Jenny Morgan, Shrimp Boat Projects / Eric Leshinsky / Zach Moser, Skydive Art Space / Sasha Dela, West Oaks Art House / Sharsten Plenge, Workshop Houston and more!

We’ll keep you posted on where to read-up on the varied spaces and entities shaping Houston’s unique artscape  … Plus, you’ll want to pick-up a copy for a pair of the hand-crafted WOAH enhancement included with our textual contribution.

For more information, please contact Sasha Dela.

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HIP Pops-Up in Houston

Designs by HIP Founder, Toni Whitaker. Image courtesy Toni Whitaker.

Designs by HIP Founder, Toni Whitaker. Image courtesy Toni Whitaker.

As part of the programs facilitated and supported through WOAH’s mobile Houston art space, West Oaks Art House, we are pleased to announce the upcoming opening of the HIP Pop-Up.

Making it’s grand debut on the biggest national shopping day of the year –– yes, that would be Black Friday–– the HIP Pop-Up sets-up-shop at West Oaks Mall thru December 31st. The opening of the HIP Pop-Up marks the landing of Houston’s first concept store exclusively dedicated to showcasing emerging designers under the innovative program of the Houston Incubator Project (HIP). A not-for-profit initiative headed by veteran designer and choice dresser to Houston’s most fashionable A-list, Toni Whitaker, the mission of the HIP is to grow and sustain the business of participating designers by developing the skills needed to thrive and survive in a competitive retail environment.

Animating a 500 sq ft. storefront space with participant’s collections, the HIP Pop-Up helps selected designers build and expand their brand’s exposure. By housing retail space at West Oaks Mall with locally designed and produced clothing and accessories, the HIP Pop-Up aims to generate attention to Houston’s leading fashion-entrepreneurs while simultaneously enabling them to test the ready-to-wear market. Offering business mentoring, networking opportunities, and the use of retail space at no-cost to participating designers, the HIP Pop-Up provides a unique, professional platform encouraging up-and-coming talent to reach their full potential, while exposing them to the real-life challenges of garnering a target-audience within an established retail landscape. Additionally, under Whitaker’s stellar curation, the HIP Pop-Up introduces new customers to the first incarnation of the incubator project, which is set to reach full program fruition come Spring 2014.

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For more on the HIP visit www.houstonfashionincubatorproject.org

In addition to the HIP Pop-Up, West Oaks Art House provides a second location for the nonprofit arts organization Katy Visual & Performing Arts Center (KVPAC West Oaks).  Offering a Fun Friday Workshop on Black Friday, KVPAC West Oaks invites parents to drop-off kids to partake in fun arts and crafts activities while they enjoy shopping Black Friday bargains.

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For more on the holiday programs offered at KVPAC West Oaks visit www.kvpac.org

Click here to download WOAH’s Press Release.

AFTERnono

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It’s been one year since WOAH hosted award-winning performance troupe Suchu Dance at our mobile art space’s first mall location in Houston, Texas. Last June, Suchu Dance inaugurated the opening of West Oaks Art House at West Oaks Mall (WOAH at WOM) with the site-specific performance ‘Afternono.’ Activating the entire lower tier of former JC Penney walls at West Oaks Mall, ‘Afternono’ was performed over a period of three weeks to coincide with Houston’s 10th Big Range Dance Festival.  Suchu Artistic Director and Founder, Jennifer Wood, choreographed the performance which spanned all 50,000 square ft. of the former department store.

Invited to roam and travel through the space as the graceful action of the 16 dancers progressed, audience members were invited to have an experiential and intimate encounter with the piece. Exploring the use of vast space as a vessel, and intentionally laying bare typical theatrical elements such as sophisticated lighting or sound, the immersive nature of ‘Afternono’ challenged conventional theatre relationships. Creating a spatial synthesis between viewer and performer, the audience was as integral to ‘Afternono’ as the free-flowing synchronicities of the dancer’s themselves.

In addition to marking one-year since WOAH welcomed Suchu (…and thus beginning our friendship and fan-hood), we encourage local Houstonians to check out their latest piece “BOSK” opening in Houston tomorrow evening, Fri. 6/7. “BOSK” will sadly be the last time Suchu performs at their long-standing downtown home, Barnevelder Theater–the arts complex they conceived, built, and have performed within since 2003. Don’t miss your chance to see this unparalleled team of artists at their homebase!

Suchu Dance premieres ‘BOSK’  this Fri 6/7 at 8PM | Performances Thurs-Sat thru 6/22.
Visit http://www.suchudance.org for info | Reserve tickets via http://conta.cc/11HW2cv.

Suchu Dance premieres 'Bosk' Fri. 6/7 at 8PM

Suchu Dance premieres ‘BOSK’ Fri. 6/7 at 8PM